Promoting your work experience – Leadership
Number 6 in our series of blogs about skills and we turn our attention to leadership. Leadership is a skill often asked for and can be relatively easy to show if you have worked in a management or supervisory role or even through leisure interests, led a sports team for example.
Firstly though what springs to mind when you say leadership?
What do you think you makes a good leader? What key qualities and other skills help? Have you seen any leaders who have inspired you?
So if you have experience of leadership in a work context think about these questions.
- Where it was and what you were doing?
- When did you have to demonstrate leadership qualities and how did you do this?
- Did you find a solution to a problem? Were there different options to choose between and how did you make the choice?
- Did you deal with a staff shortage and have to provide cover where you could?
- Did you deal with a complaint?
- Or an incident?
- Did you try to measure your success in dealing with whatever happened? How was this measured?
- Reflection is a great skill to develop so consider what might you do differently in future.
If you are struggling to think of examples as you lack experience then you can try and think of times when you weren’t necessarily a leader but you showed leadership qualities.
- Employers know you haven’t got all the skills at a high level as yet but can you demonstrate the potential to lead?
- Looking back, did you ever deputise for someone more senior ? So being asked by someone else to show leadership qualities.
- Did you take on a query and deal with it yourself ? There are times when of course you have to be careful not to overstep the mark and be careful not to give information that is incorrect but with judgment you can use your initiative and respond appropriately.
- Leadership can also involve assessing and reviewing situations and thinking how you might do things differently if you were in charge, do you need to point out to someone how a situation could be improved?
- How would you do this, for example through negotiation and diplomacy ? Have you seen examples of good and also poor leadership?
- So when faced with a skill that you feel at present you can’t demonstrate think back to experiences that might help. The university offers lots of chances to get involved with work experience and volunteering so if you are short of examples look for opportunities that can help you start to gain this and a whole range of other skills.
For more help identifying and reflecting on skills go to our website.